Multiple Wives Without Financial Security
(From Hudaa magazine Vol. 7 No. 4)


Is it permissable in this DAY and TIME for a Muslim male to have a second wife in the US, if he is financially INSECURE? (Please answer this question with or without him being financially secure.)

Answer by Muhammad al-Jibaly & Abu Khaliyl

Allah (SWT) has sanctioned marrying more than one wife. He (SWT) however, limited the number of wives to FOUR per man (at one time). This is LEGITIMATE for ANY Muslim REGARDLESS of WHEN he lives, or WHERE he resides. The secular law that prohibits multiple wives is IRRELEVANT here, because it does NOT constitute a serious threat to life or freedom of those who violate it. IF it were the case that EVERY man who married more than one wife were incarcerated for doing so, then it WOULD be necessary to avoid such marriages, since the danger that would result is a greater evil than the good that would be achieved by marrying more than one wife. HOWEVER, this is CLEARLY not the case in the US, especially since any time a man marries more than one woman at a time, BOTH his marriages CANNOT be registered according to the civil law. So in effect, according to the legal system that could possibly constitute a threat, he only has one wife that they are concerned with. So he has NOT broken the law.

However, the concern with this question is the usage of the term "financially insecure". Allah (SWT) said (what means):

"Let those abstain from marriage who do NOT have the means until Allah gives them the means..." (An Nur 24:33)

If a man is financially insecure, then marrying a second wife would consitute an injustice. This is the case as seen when a man marries more than one wife an he outs his entire family on welfare. He CLEARLY does NOT possess the means to marry. In this case, he MUST wait until Allah (SWT) provides the means for him to do so.

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